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Ferguson responds to Peter Hain's anouncement of more Investment

7 March, 2006

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Michael Ferguson has said that he welcomed the announcement of investment in Children and Young people but like most people wondered just how much was additional, such has been the spin of press releases spun out by Direct Rule Ministers.

Michael Ferguson said,

"I like NICCY's Mr Mc Neany also welcome the announcement of investment in Children and Young people and like NICCY support the common call for equality of investment with that which is invested in England.

"Ruth Kelly has invested £168 million in Extended Schools and £918 million in Early Years provision consequently the £20 million for schools pales into insignificance particularly when set against a back drop of between £20-30 million of shortfall from the same school budgets in the next financial year.

"It is understandable therefore when we ask if any of this money is really addition or is this just more spin?

"Education and Library Board Representatives are already beginning to rebel against their Board proposals to cut millions from special needs and other frontline services so we can only wait and see how many of the After School Projects will be saved.

"The Sally Gardens After School Project in Poleglass will close its doors this Thursday, turning children away in an area characterised by multiple deprivation and poverty." ENDS

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